Lights, Camera, Action! Let's Debut in Tokyo Mirage Sessions

Tokyo Mirage Sessions is, by all accounts, a game that probably should not even exist, let alone be as good as it is. It was revealed in January 2013 with a teaser trailer as “SMT x Fire Emblem” and nothing more than a panning shot over the assorted Fire Emblem and SMT protagonists. It fell into radio silence for the better part of two years, including at least one project reboot, changing from a Fire Emblem-esque SRPG to an Atlus-style JRPG. And when TMS as we know it was revealed to the world, it was with this. Suffice to say that this was not what anyone had in mind for a crossover between SMT and Fire Emblem.

And yet somehow this game is good. Beyond good, even. I would unquestioningly call it my Game of the Year for 2016, and it’s probably my favorite game on the Wii U period. The plot’s a little trite, but the characters are great, the music is phenomenal, the combat is fun, and just overall it’s so much fun and I sincerely hope that I can get that across to you as the reader.

What Tokyo Mirage Sessions is is a mix of Atlus’s assorted SMT sub-franchises, with some very light Fire Emblem flavoring. The overworld is taken wholesale from Persona 3 or 4, the dungeons are straight out of SMT IV with unique themes and “puzzles” like Persona 4, the sidequests are similar to Devil Survivor’s FATE system, and the combat (while it’s own beast later on) is probably closest to Strange Journey. The game takes place in Tokyo, and revolves around the entertainment industry as our party members attempt to make their way as idols, TV personalities, actors, and everything in between while a J-Pop soundtrack blares in the background (complete with full-on AMVs). In fact, if not for the fact that your characters’ Personas Mirages are Fire Emblem characters, you would be forgiven for assuming this was just another new IP from Atlus until about 45 hours in. Personally, I think this works to the game’s favor, but I can understand why Fire Emblem fans would be disappointed in the end result.

The LP

This will be a screenshot LP first and foremost, with video links scattered liberally. While you don’t have to watch any of the videos, the character models are incredibly expressive and I highly suggest you watch the them if you can, especially for the anime cutscenes and AMVs. Videos will be called out in the post :siren: like this :siren: and be placed at the start of their relevant scenes, so they should be very easy to find. Updates will be whenever the hell I feel like it, but probably something resembling a Mon/Thurs or Mon/Fri schedule.

Additionally, if you’re not familiar with the SMT spell vocabulary, I suggest you brush up on that before we start. I’m not asking you to know whether Posumudi or Me Patra cures Panic off the top of your head, but you should probably know that Agi is fire and Dia is a cure spell.


Keep black bar discussion to a minimum. It’s pretty easy to see where the plot is going, but I know a lot of people didn’t play this because it was a Wii U exclusive sent to die at retail in a year filled with games like Uncharted 4, Final Fantasy XV, The Last Guardian, and more. A little discussion on the next dungeon or sidequest is fine, talking about the final dungeon in Chapter 1 is not.

Additionally, there is a section about a quarter of the way into the game that was heavily changed during localization. When we get there, we’ll discuss what it was and why it was changed, but if I see a single use of the word “censorship”, even ironically, I am locking the thread and delaying the next update :siren: This is your first and only warning. :siren:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 3.5
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6

Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13
Part 14
Part 15
Part 16

Part 17
Part 18
Part 19
Part 20
Part 21
Part 22
Part 23
Part 24
Part 25
Part 26
Part 27
Part 28
Part 29

Part 30
Part 31
Part 32
Part 33
Part 34
Part 35
Part 36
Part 37
Part 38
Part 39
Part 40

Other Miscellany

Voice Actor References


So one quick note before we get started - as mentioned in the OP, this game is really into the whole “entertainment” thing. So much so that you don’t even start a new game, you debut. It’s a little touch that doesn’t really mean anything, but it’s interesting to see just how thoroughly the game has committed to its aesthetic.

We’re playing on normal because while this is definitely on the easier side as far as SMT games are concerned, it can still kick your teeth in without warning if you’re not paying attention. If it gets really boring we can always kick it up later.

:siren: Opening Cutscene/Game Intro :siren:

The first half of this cutscene has a film grain effect on it, so if any of the screenshots look weird, you know why! I highly recommend watching the videos when possible, but I’ll hit all the important bits with screenshots if you’re unable (or unwilling).

We open on an opera scene, with 13 year old Tsubasa Oribe in the audience.

Our leading man is Chikaomi Tsurugi, and at his side is Tsubasa’s older sister, Ayaha Oribe.

Meanwhile, Chikaomi’s son, Yashiro, is hanging out backstage.

Tsubasa is understandably excited to see her sister perform, but suddenly, in the blink of an eye…

…she disappears.

The audience is initially confused, but that quickly becomes panic when parts of the audience begin to disappear as well.

Yashiro disappears in a strange purple mist…

…and soon, Tsubasa is one of the only people left in the audience.

Chikaomi admirably carries on with the show, but soon he vanishes just like his son.

Tsubasa, now desperately fighting back tears, is surrounded by the same purple triangles that caused Chikaomi to disappear…

…when a strange breeze comes in, and creates a shield that protects her from whatever is going on.

A little surprised, a little relieved, Tsubasa becomes the only person to walk away from this whole ordeal.

And so, five years later…

Tsubasa is now all grown up (or at least as grown up as we’re gonna get, this is a JRPG after all), and leaving school for the day.

We also get our first shot of Itsuki Aoi, the main protagonist of the game.

Tsubasa pops in her earbuds and loads up Kiria’s latest single, and as she walks off…

…we get our title drop.

From here on out, it’s mostly just the opening credits (and its excellent backing track, seriously go watch the video), so I’ll pretty much skip right to the important bits.

For starters, Tiki is in this game! Or to be more precise, TIKi - she’s more of a vocaloid than anything, so if you’re imagining a Fire Emblem-themed Miku, you’re 90% of the way there.

We also have these guys to thank for a phenomenal soundtrack. As you might expect for a game explicitly about idols and such, a ton of work went into music, and lord does it show. Nintendo must have cut Atlus a blank check, because the soundtrack features a large amount of completely original J-Pop, at least a half dozen professionally produced AMVs, a full cast of singing voice actors… It’s almost obscene how much money must have gone into this game, only for it to bomb.

And let’s not forget the animation. It would have been remarkably easy for Atlus to cheap out on the animation budget (and they absolutely have in the past), but even the anime cutscenes are almost entirely on model and animated well, if a little quiet in comparison to the rest of the game.

Strap in folks, it’s gonna be a wild ride.


I’m excited for anime

Aw hell yeah. TMS #FE is pretty great and I’m excited for this LP

I was actually pretty excited about this game after they revealed what is was going to be. I just really liked the idea of idols somehow fighting not-shadows, I dunno. Definitely looking forward to future updates.
Never really found the time to go pick it up though. Either had a lot of work to do and no time for video games, or just not the money for it. I get the feeling that this LP might change that, you have a way of selling games Artix.
(I’m looking at all the Picross I’ve solved now and the copy of LR:FFXIII that’s still in my steam cart…)

As a fan of the SMT series and having a budding interest in the FE franchise due to a few very excited friends, I’m actually really surprised this game went under my radar? Alright, it bombed but even so.

I’m sad I missed it until now but excited for this LP! You’re right, the music is kickass and knowing ATLUS didn’t hold back with this title… Can’t wait to see what comes next!

And for a Switch port. :cry:

Wow, didn’t expect to see this as one of the first LPs to appear! I’m playing this myself (currently in chapter 4) and enjoying it a lot. I’m looking forward to seeing anything I missed, and I am interested in seeing what changed too.

I have this game on loan from Gamefly. I should actually get around to playing it at some point.

You know, I knew I was forgetting to play something in 2016. The last thing I remember hearing about this was Bill Trinen in a Direct awkwardly saying the title (sharp # and all) as if he couldn’t quite believe this was what they decided to name the thing. And then yeah it just sort of fell off the radar.

Let’s get this anime all up in here.

This is probably my favorite RPG from last year beside Pokemon Sun.

Love me some ~Anime~

I’d like to point out that the title is clever in the way it ties to the SMT series: The Japanese title, Genei Ibunroku♯FE (lit. Illusory Revelation♯FE ) is a variation of the naming conventions of some SMT spin-offs, with those being called Megami Ibunroku (lit. Goddess Revelation).

The English translation obviously had some issues getting that point across, but I think what they landed with is clever in it’s own right, with it being called Tokyo Mirage Sessions♯FE, or TMS, which, of course is SMT backwards.

Anyways, looking forward to this.

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I’ve seen a few videos on Tokyo Mirage Sessions last year, but never really looked at. I might want to look into more and would like to see this play out.

Let’s get all anime in this mother.

Do you have to be familliar with FE to understand the plot of this?

Nope, the story is completely original. There are some references to other FE games, but they’re pretty minor.

There’s gonna be an extra update this week so we can get to the first dungeon ASAP. Really, the intro cutscene barely counts as an update.

Music: Daitama Observatory

Now that we’ve entered the realm of gameplay, we get dumped off in the Daitama Observatory.

There’s an audition of some kind going on, which probably explains the crowds. And hey, there’s Tsubasa hanging out at the back of the line.

Itsuki wanders in, but uh, he’s not the brightest bulb in the box. You’ll see.

Some kind of event, huh…? Wonder what’s taking Touma so long.


So this is our introduction to “Topic”. It’s basically a bunch of texts that come in on your gamepad, mostly to flesh out some side conversations which absolutely could not have happened on the main screen, no sir.

[quote] blargh sorry! running late! i seriously just got off the stage
sorry, man. gah, and i was the one who set this whole thing up, too
Don’t worry about it.
thanks man. sorry again!
oh btw, i saw someone who looked a lot like tsubasa in odaiba today. did she tell you anything about her plans?
eh, it was probably someone else then. anyhow, i’ll be there as soon as i can, so just hang on a little more[/quote]

Guess I’ll just wander around a bit then…

From there, we’re actually thrown into gameplay. Our immediate goal is to go talk to Tsubasa, but for now let’s chat up the locals.

:swoon:: I want to be just like Mamorin! I really, really wanna be like her!

:robot:: The Uta-loid Tiki’s made of dreams, not data! If she was just a fictional idol, she wouldn’t be this popular!

:woman:: If you pass this audition, then you might even be able to work together with Kiria, right?

:smiley:: My friend’s auditioning too! I’m looking forward to seeing her!

Well, it seems like everyone else is pretty excited about this, let’s see what Tsubasa has to say.

:siren: Meeting Tsubasa :siren:

Oh. Well, something tells me we weren’t supposed to see her here.

I thought that was you, Tsubasa.

I-I-I thought you were hanging out with Touma today!

He hasn’t shown up yet, so I figured I’d hang out for a while.

Urgh… Thanks, Touma…


I, uh, well…

“Kiria”…? That was… that singer you really like, right?

Sigh I’ve been telling you to listen to her songs forever. How do you still not remember?

She’s one of the biggest female artists in Japan right now. You should really listen to her sometime, Itsuki!

I’ll… get around to it.

You promise?

Yeah, yeah.

Don’t “yeah, yeah” me… You’re just saying that to get me off your case.

Sigh Come on, Itsuki, we’ve been friends since we were kids. Can’t you take me seriously for once?

Tsubasa has some very expressive motions in her dialogue. It’s quite fitting for her character, and I suggest watching them in motion when you get a chance.

I mean, I’ll get you parfait if you want… I just don’t see why you’re trying to get ME excited about her.

It makes perfect sense! I just want to be able to talk about Kiria stuff with you.

I think that’s probably enough about her… So what exactly are you doing here in Daitama, again?

Uh, well, you know, just… things…

All applicants for the One of Millennium idol audition, please gather in the reception area.

Gaah! I-I, uh, just remembered there was something I had to do! So, uh… Gotta go! I’ll see you later!


Nope, this is definitely on the level. Nothing funny going on here.

Anyway, now that we’ve talked to Tsubasa the line has cleared out, so let’s go see what she’s trying so hard to hide.

As Itsuki walks past the mirror, we see that he’s being followed by a red ghost. I’m sure that nothing will ever come of this.

:siren: The Audition :siren:

Music: Showtime!

Well, I suppose we know where the crowd went.

Which talented contestant will get the glory of victory and a shot at stardom!? Are… you… READY?


And so am I! Why don’t we have our future idols come forward on stage?


The other idols each take a turn on stage, but you can see how much attention Itsuki is paying.

This, however, is enough to snap him back into reality.

Heh heh…!

Aw, geez… I totally messed that up.

What’s Tsubasa doing onstage…?

Tsubasa seems to have a ghost following her as well, but like Itsuki’s, it vanishes almost as quickly as it appears.

I… I want to become an idol that can… make everyone happy!


Wooow. And just what motivated you to want to be that kind of idol? We’re just dying to know, aren’t we, folks?

We are!

Well… A while ago… I went through some hard times and got really depressed… Everyone was really worried about me, but that just ended up feeling more like a burden…

But… I had a friend that still talked with me like everything was normal - just like he always did. That cheered me up… and it helped me feel like I could smile again.

That’s why… I want to be able to help everyone smile, just like my friend did for me.

Huh…? Well, um…

Is it, maybe… something to do with your sister?


Your sister is the idol Ayaha Oribe, isn’t she?

Y-Yes… that’s true…

Well, why didn’t you say so!? This is very important information. So, tell us… what kind of sister was she?

She was always cheerful, a great singer… And most importantly… sh-she was a very kind person.

Buuut, five years ago… during that so-called “Mass Disappearance” your sister disappeared, didn’t she?

Isn’t the Mass Disappearance where all the performers and audience in a theater just disappeared?

At this point, even the crowd is starting to sense that something is up.

But here, now, HERE… We come to the most important question of all.

Tsubasa. For your incredible talent, I could let you see your beloved sister once again… How about it?

The truth is… I have called Ms. Ayaha Oribe to be our special guest today!

…Huh? Sh-She’s here!?

Music: Danger!

Well, this went south quickly. Not only was this whole thing a trap, Gojuin can summon whatever these red ghosts are.

Wh-What’s going on!? Nooo! Ugh… gah…

It’s a lot more obvious in motion, but these red ghosts are absorbing something from the crowd. A really cute touch is that once a crowd member has been drained, they lose their color and turn grey before they collapse.

Ah, now there’s a Proper Noun™. Just keep that in mind, we’ll get an explanation for that in a few updates.

Ah…! Tsubasa… Where’s Tsubasa…!?

Itsuki, despite being under attack himself, is at least trying to help.

His work seemingly done, Gojuin turns around and goes through the portal that has appeared behind him.

Tsubasa cries out for help…

…But she quickly gets taken through the portal as well.

And with the audience entirely drained, the red ghosts call it a day too.

Itsuki is suddenly glowing again, and like before it seems to counteract the Performa drain.

Well I suppose our next objective is pretty obvious, isn’t it? Next time we investigate this mysterious blue portal!

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I’m so fond of how quickly this game places you in the first dungeon compared to say, Persona 4.

yeah it really doesn’t waste any time getting to proper gameplay, and not 40 minutes of futzing around like P3/4 did. We got stages to set afire, dagnabbit!

All those other idol candidates are in weird-ass getups and Tsubasa clowns all of them while wearing a cardigan. Now that’s talent!

Yeah, no hour or so of talking with no real way to skip it.

That escalated quickly. I really like how crowds look in this game.